HT: Hip-hop and house music dominated the latter half of the 80s, but personally I couldn’t quite keep up with the music and fashion trends of those times. The stars of the time included you, Hiroshi Fujiwara and Kan Takagi. I remember going to the LIQUIDROOM to see one of your shows.

JT: You came to my third collection show held in 1995. It was a mess.

HT: I was like, “Jonio” of the Tokyo Sex Pistols who used to tag along Hitomi (of MILK) to clubs is holding his own fashion show. I was excited to see what you had to offer, and when the show was over, I knew that something special had begun.

JT: It was chaotic (laugh).

HT: It wasn’t a mess actually. Not at all. When the Plastics and Yellow Magic Orchestra emerged between the 70s and 80s, it was the first time that something from Japan spread overseas. Most of what was considered cool came from overseas, and it was nice to see Japanese artists with originality. You were different from the other designers presenting at the Tokyo collections because you started off with street fashion. I’m the same, and I love street fashion. I was amazed to see such a young designer as you with roots in street culture. Since the 70s, as the Plastics, with my solos albums such as “H,” “Hm,” “Mr. Techie & Miss Kipple” and “TaiyoSun,” typography exhibits and solo tour ex hibits, I’ve been promoting Japanese street culture to the world in different forms. Seeing your show,I felt like all my efforts till then was finally taking shape. I was surprised to see an aspect of street at a time when the trend was thrash metal, something I totally didn’t get (laugh).

JT: The music scene changed greatly in the 90s. I didn’t quite get hip-hop and house either. I still don’t get house, and I’ve never liked dance music.

HT: Was your first encounter with music the Sex Pistols?

JT: I began by listening to pop music and The Beatles. Influenced by my friends, I also listened to Led Zeppelin. I started listening to the Sex Pistols in junior high. I liked the band name and the cover designs of their albums.

HT: I’m assuming that this wasn’t real time.

JT: Right, I was only seven when the Sex Pistols were performing. In junior high I discovered the Plastics and realized that there were bands in Japan with styles similar to the Sex Pistols.

HT: You listen to quite a wide range of music genres.

JT: Yes, I also love Tatsuro Yamashita. I also listen to German techno, progressive music and hard core.

HT: I’m fond of German rock like NEU!, Can, Guru Guru and Cluster. Do you like Television?

JT: I do! Speaking of the Plastics, it was formed by designers and stylists. While having other work to do, the members connected with each other through a mutual interest. This is the best part, and it sort of overlaps with what I do as a designer.

HT: You were also part of a band right?

JT: I was, but it wasn’t something I started because I wanted to. Tatsuya Moriyama of the Mods told me I looked like Johnny Rotten and that I should join a band. Which is why I don’t really publicize this part of my life…My reasons for starting music wasn’t really planned.

HT: Punk made a huge impact on music. Before punk, those who couldn’t play instruments well weren’t accepted into the musical world. Punk set a new tone, allowing people to start music based on their emotions and senses. It even influenced fashion; from London, New York, Los Angeles to Tokyo, allowing designers to create clothes based on their senses.

To be continued into 3/6.